Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Red Sox needed a win yesterday afternoon. They needed guys like Lester and Ellsbury to emerge from their respective funks. And they got what they needed.
Lester took the mound having not logged a Quality Start since July 18. But he gave the Sox 6.1 innings of scoreless work. He slowed down as the game progressed, which still has me somewhat concerned that this season is getting too long for him, but he got deep enough to give the ball to Bard. I felt like Francona pulled him at precisely the right moment, just as the top of the Yankees' order was coming up again.
Ellsbury got his first hit since May 23rd. He also walked, got hit by a pitch, and stole 4 bases. That tripled his season total in one afternoon, and equaled a Red Sox record for SBs in one game.
Before we get too giddy, we do have to remember that the Sox are 4-4 in their last 8. Their infield defense has looked atrocious. The offense was 1/8 with runners in scoring position yesterday. This team has a two man bullpen. But things aren't as doom and gloom as they seemed yesterday morning.
The Sox have a difficult and vital stretch of games ahead of them. They go up to Toronto for 3, then go down to Texas for 3. The Blue Jays have been hot, winning 7 of their last 10, and they're only 4 games behind the Sox. And the Rangers have a stranglehold on the AL West.
Matsuzaka opposes 9-7 Ricky Romero, who has a 3.37 ERA. As happy as this latest win over New York has made me, I have a bad feeling about this road trip.